Yechury hails Nepal parties for accord on statute

Kathmandu, June 10 (IANS) CPI-M secretary general Sitaram Yechuri, who played a crucial role in bringing Nepal’s radical Maoists to mainstream after 2006, has hailed the understanding reached between the Himalayan nation’s political parties in the aftermath of the devastating April 25 earthquake.

The parties have shown political maturity and unity post-quake, said Yechuri during a press interaction here on Wednesday.

Yechuri is here to donate Nepali Rs.50 million (around $490,000) to the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund. He handed over the cheque to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Wednesday morning at his official residence in Baluwatar.

Nepal’s three major political parties and a section of Madhesh-based parties, inked a new 16-point deal on Monday relevant to the constitution drafting process and agreed to go for an eight-province model.

The deal is expected to pave the way for promulgation of a new constitution in Nepal that the country has been hoping for since the first elections of the Constituent Assembly in 2008.

It was hailed by the majority of political constituencies, but a section of Madhesi parties has opposed the deal, terming it as “regressive”.

Yechuri, who has a wide range of contacts with various political leaders in Nepal, said those who were opposing the deal should be taken into confidence.

“Take our case,” he said. “The Indian Constitution was amended 113 times to address demands put by various constituencies and communities and it took 10 years to take a decision on federalism.”

He also said that the Indian parliament has already passed a resolution for Nepal’s reconstruction bid and New Delhi was ready to pledge and extend all possible help to Kathmandu at this difficult juncture.

The money which was collected by the party was the true contribution made by the Indian people as it was not donation from any industrialist or business houses, he said.

Yechuri will be meeting with various top leaders of major political parties in Nepal and take stock of the political situation.

In a meeting with C.P. Mainali, secretary general of the Communist Party of Nepal-Marxist Leninist (CPN-ML), Yechuri denounced the recent agreement signed by India and China on the Lipu-Lekh Pass, a far western point of Nepal, which the Nepal government claims to be a part of its territory.

The Nepal government has already instructed its New Delhi and Beijing-based missions to study the accord and find out what actually it meant for Nepal. According to a joint statement issued on May 15 in Beijing during Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi’s visit to China, the two countries agreed to expand border trade at Qiangla/Lipu-Lekh Pass.

India and China at least should let Nepal know about the deal, Yechuri told Mainali. The 28th point of the joint communique states that “the two sides recognised that enhancing border areas cooperation through border trade, pilgrimage by people of the two countries and other exchanges can effectively promote mutual trust, and agreed to further broaden this cooperation so as to transform the border into a bridge of cooperation and exchanges”.

“The two sides agreed to hold negotiation on augmenting the list of traded commodities, and expand border trade at Nathu La, Qiangla/Lipu-Lekh Pass and Shipki La,” it stated.

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